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What cars aren’t going electric in the next decade have to find a way to stay relevant in the electric age. The case is no different for Ingolstadt-based Audi, who have been using a clever trick to boost the MPG of a few vehicles in their lineup. Notably, the Audi RS6 Avant uses a mild-hybrid system to help keep the big V8’s poor fuel economy in check. Now, the 2022 Audi A3 uses the same trick.

The new A3 will use this mild-hybrid system from the Audi RS6 Avant to help boost MPG, though the small sedan may not have needed the help.

The Audi RS6 Avant hands down its mild hybrid system

A red Audi RS6 Avant shot from the front 3/4 at an auto show
The Audi RS6 Avant donated its 48V hybrid system | Sjoerd van der Wal via Getty Images

The new 48V mild-hybrid system in the A3 is a great example of how motorsport drives improvement in production cars. Racecars like Formula 1 and LeMans cars have been using hybrid powertrains for a while now. Then, the tech became reliable enough and affordable enough to make it into road cars. Of course, the fast stuff gets the racing bits first.

That’s how the Audi RS6 Avant ended up with its 48V system. In the RS6, it’s used to fill in the torque during gear changes more than anything. However, in the Avant’s most economical mode, it’s also used to get the car moving before restarting the big V8 found at the front of the Avant.

The Audi A3 is new for 2022

A grey Audi A3 shot in profile
The 2022 Audi A3 got new looks | Audi

While the 2022 Audi A3 doesn’t have, and nor could it fit, a massive twin-turbo V8, the logic behind the car’s new mild-hybrid system still applies. Most people won’t be driving their base A3 at the limit. For that, you’ll want the new Audi RS3. Instead, it’ll be used the same way the 48V system was used in the Audi RS6 Avant: to help the car attain max MPG with minimal effort.

While it may not sound like much, per Audi, the 2022 Audi A3 will provide a 2 MPG improvement across the board. That means city, highway, and combined ratings are better at 29, 38, and 32 MPG. However, it’s important to remember that those numbers will add up. Gas is $4.00 a gallon in some places, meaning you save $8.00 or so every time you’re at the pump.

Is the A3 worth buying?

A grey 2022 Audi A3 sedan shot from the front 3/4
The 2022 Audi A3 promises to be more efficient | Audi

Honestly, those savings alone could make quite a difference. Supposing you gas up weekly, that’s roughly $432 a year in fuel savings. Of course, there’s some variance in gas prices and commutes to consider. That said, those kinds of savings in petrol are significant over the average five-year cost of ownership in newer vehicles. We’ll have to wait and see if the rest of the new A3 holds up over the years as well as the fuel savings do.


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